Five Tips for Blogger Outreach

The ubiquitous internet really has given ‘power to the people’. Any individual now has the potential to wield the influence of a journalist – all he has to do is identify a niche subject and consistently write about it in an informed way over a period of time in order to build up a following of thousands of readers who share those interests.

Blogger outreach

Another side to this phenomenon is that these blogging supremos also provide a great opportunity for businesses to access easily identifiable groups of readers with specific interests. So, whereas in the past, companies or their PR agencies focused purely on targeting journalists in order to hit target audiences, they now have the additional option The of a plethora of influencers in the form of bloggers.

Here’s an example of how blogger outreach can give a commercial advantage. One of our clients is the Charles Bathurst Inn and The Punch Bowl Inn, both idyllic inns located in the Yorkshire Dales in the midst of fantastic walking country. As popular haunts for ramblers, we helped the inns to target the online walking community by building relationships with influential rambling bloggers. We invited some of the key bloggers to spend a complimentary weekend at one of the inns and then to give an impartial review on their blog.

The result was that half a dozen bloggers took us up on our offer, subsequently wrote rave reviews about the inns, attracting more custom from their readers and also increasing traffic to the inns’ websites by pushing up their Google rankings because of the search-friendly benefits of back links from other websites.

While it may seem like a fairly simple exercise, bloggers should not be viewed simply as an extension of the traditional media, there are some important rules that should be followed in order to communicate with them effectively.

Here are some key pointers:

1. The first step is to identify the right bloggers for you. Unfortunately, there is no quick solution to this, it is a matter of undertaking laborious research via Google blog search or Technorati. You will need to scan each blog site to get a feel for its relevance; check the site rating (via a Google rating app); and then go through the blogrolls on each site to find more bloggers who might be relevant and visit their site to do the same… It’s worth noting that as in most things, quality is more important than quantity – don’t just target the bloggers with the most followers, find the ones most relevant to your business.

2. As most bloggers are private individuals without a commercial axe to grind, the way in which they should be approached is different to traditional journalists. The key is always to be transparent – as ordinary people with a passion for a particular topic, they treasure their objectivity and appreciate openness. While they may be slightly wary of business people or PRs, as long as you are up front and declare your commercial interest, there shouldn’t be a problem.

3. Blogging is about building relationships, so don’t stampede in, take some time and get to know the individuals through their blogs (it should also become apparent whether they are amenable to PR approaches). Have a look at their ‘About’ page – time invested in research will help you to better craft your pitch. Post some comments and start a dialogue; blogging is all about engaging with people and most bloggers appreciate the fact that someone is taking the time to read their posts.

4. Once you have made two or three comments, you can approach the blogger. Every approach should be personalised, preferably referring to their recent posts to show that you are familiar with their blog. Having clearly set out your commercial interest, you might offer them the opportunity to trial a product or service. This is fine as long as you make it clear that they are no strings attached; they are free to give an unbiased, independent opinion.

5. Courtesy is also important. Deliver what you promise and when the blogger posts his review, say thank you. Also have the courtesy to attribute items you’ve picked up on the net and if you find a blog useful, twitter the link. Blogging is all about sharing knowledge, making it an ideal tool for PR as long as it is used properly.

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Article Author Details

Ronei Daselva